Created on 17-03-2008 at 00:00 AM
Martin Demichelis was reinstated to the Bayern squad on Monday after coach Ottmar Hitzfeld lifted the club suspension on the Argentine international. The defender will now feature in the matchday squad for Wednesday’s DFB German Cup semi-final against VfL Wolfsburg. “He has apologised, so the matter is closed,” Hitzfeld reported after Monday training, which Demichelis completed following a two-day absence.
Last Friday, Hitzfeld ejected Demichelis from the squad for the Bundesliga trip to Cottbus and handed him an indefinite suspension, because the player refused to deputise for Mark van Bommel in the defensive midfield position. “A player cannot pick and choose the position he wishes to play, the decision is solely for the coach,” Hitzfeld commented.
Ahead of Monday training, Micho presented himself at the head coach’s office and apologised unreservedly for his behaviour. Demichelis himself declined to comment further on the matter. “We’ve talked it through and settled our differences,“ he told fcbayern.de.
Demichelis’ team-mates welcomed the player’s reinstatement. “He knows he was in the wrong,” commented captain Oliver Kahn, praising the centre-half for “a very good season so far“. The statement is backed up by statistics showing Bayern have conceded only 16 goals in 31 matches featuring Demichelis, but 12 in ten games without him.
In squad for Wolfsburg
Two of those came in Saturday’s shock defeat to Cottbus. “We could have done with Demichelis today as the anchor in front of the back four,” Hitzfeld admitted after the match. Added general manager Uli Hoeneß: “This part of the midfield was exactly where it all went wrong.“
Demichelis will now definitely feature against Wolfsburg, coached by former Bayern boss Felix Magath. Hitzfeld declined to say whether Micho would play in central defence, in the holding role, or start on the bench. “What matters is that he’s back in the squad,” a delighted Bastian Schweinsteiger observed.